Introducing… Billie Bryan
The first thing that we noticed when we interviewed Billie Bryan – also known as Bee – is that she wears many hats. Impressively, she is a web designer who owns her own business and during her time off she is a musician and artist. She is also into marketing, entrepreneurship, environmentalism and veganism; and that is not even scraping the surface. She is a pansexual, polyamourous transgender woman. Born and bred in the Cayman Islands, she hopes to raise awareness about the complexities around sex and gender and at the same time encourage tolerance and acceptance for the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. Here we speak to her about her upcoming TEDxSevenMileBeach talk, taking place on Wednesday 10 June at our Beach House.
Bee’s TED talk will focus on the Colours campaign, which she hopes will grow the network of public venues in Cayman that are accepting and supportive of LGBT people. She explained: “I am kicking off this grassroots campaign called Colours, which I have been trying to get started for awhile now.” For Bee, her TED talk is one of the first steps to raising awareness of her cause. She continued: “Before the campaign really kicks off I wanted to do this talk to foster some awareness and get people talking – to plant the seed. Once the talk is done then that is when we will nourish it and that is when Colours will really take flight.” With this year’s theme being “The Life of an Idea: Plant. Nourish. Harvest,” it makes perfect sense for Bee to utilise her TED talk as a platform to cultivate awareness around the campaign.
When asked what kind of reactions to the Colours campaign Bee has received so far, she is optimistic. She elaborated: “I have spoken to a lot of different people and businesses and they are definitely on board. My suspicion is that although people see Cayman as very conservative, based on my experience that percentage of the population is quickly diminishing. I think people are realising that this is where we are heading now. LGBT issues are in the news everyday. The time is now for this kind of thing. I want to be that spearhead and hopefully everything will fall in line.”
And when asked about her current state of mind, there is only one way to describe it. Frenzied. She commented: “There is a lot happening at the moment, not just personally but professionally as well. Besides launching the Colours campaign I am also starring in Cayman’s first ever production of ‘Rent’ as the character of Angel. Not only do I love ‘Rent’ the musical, I also love Angel’s character. I would love to give more exposure to transgender people and the LGBT community as a whole in Cayman. And by me putting myself in the spotlight more, it is going to capture more attention on these topics. When it comes to gender and sexuality, it is far more complicated than anyone can imagine, unless you are a specialist in the area. So with my TED talk, I am hoping to educate people or at least open their minds so they are more aware that it is not as simple as it might seem.”
To read more about Bee and the other speakers at this year’s TEDxSevenMileBeach event, visit their website.